ok, so i didn’t really drive, i flew. but every time i go to chicago (mostly for business…gotta love that the HQ is in a kick ass city) the Sufjan Stevens’ song plays in my head.
with all the birthday-palooza (don’t worry, i’ll share all of the fun stories later this weekend) going on i almost forgot about my whirlwind trip to the windy city! silly meredith, how could i have forgotten that?!
my trips are pretty action packed with meetings and whatnot. this one was no different. but i always try to sneak downtown at least one night because, hey, i’m in chicago and that would just be a damn shame if i spent the whole time in the hotel. normally i’m able to sneak out with the help of Guacamolly and Courttt (that’s 3 t’s). i always feel like the super cool kid when they pick me up for an evening of adventure while all the other people are stuck at the hotel with overpriced drinks and chain restaurant food. unfortunately, this time they were both busy (and i didn’t give them any notice that i would be in town). but i did have a cool group of fellow oklahomies i was traveling with, so the adventure downtown still happened.
here are two random facts about me. 1) i have an irrational fear/extreme dislike of wet wipes (or moist towlettes) and hand sanitizer. 2) i have an unfathomable love of public transportation.
i’ve tried to figure out why i love public transportation so much. maybe it’s because oklahoma has zero public transportation? maybe it’s because you see such a wide spectrum of people who i love to glance at whilst pretending to be reading my book? maybe it’s that it’s so gosh darn affordable? i dunno why…probably a combo of both. but i love it, i do. give me a train, a taxi, a subway and i am a happy traveler. i could just ride the L train in chicago for hours upon hours and be happy as a clam.
the only problem is when you need to go to the bathroom very very badly. like, hypothetical situation here…you have a few brewhahas, like 5 or so…and you “broke the seal” so now you have to pee every 15 minutes…and the L is running slow (i heard that someone jumped on the tracks, which is really sad)…and it’s like a 30-45 min ride back to the o’hare hotel village. ok, so it wasn’t so hypothetical at all. it was all true. and holy bananas did i have to pee. i almost wet my pants. oh, and FYI, there are not any bathrooms at the train stops. not a single one. normal circumstances, i wouldn’t want to use the train stop bathroom. but that night, i would’ve in a heart beat. i seriously considered just lettin it go and being the girl who peed her pants.
we finally did find a bathroom (even though the cab driver was way more lost than we were and took his damn time driving). and let me tell you, it was heaven.
back to chicago. i really dig that city. it is a nice combo of big city and midwestern town. it’s really busy and eccentric, but the older buildings and people make it seem less scary to a country gal (haha) like me. they have some pretty neat neighborhoods with unique stores and restaurants. and, oh!, all the people ridding their bikes!! it made me that much more excited to finally get my bike. and i so so so wished that i could’ve been one of the hip people ridin their bicycles around Wicker Park…which is where we hung out and went to a delish sushi dinner. after dinner, we waltzed into a death metal bar (which scared some of the peeps i was with, but i found hilarious) and then vacated. we then found a nice little bar with a table right on the patio so we could people watch and enjoy a beer (which would come back to haunt me later).
after quite a while of people watching, and playing the “could i live here?” game, i decided that i still prefer my little slice of OKC. i sincerely love chicago, i really do. so to all you chicago dwelling peoples, i’m not insultin your city. i would happily spend a month or two in chicago. happily. and it’s not the sticker shock of the cost of living that makes me cling to my beloved oklahoma (i assume most people’s pay checks take into account that booze, food, and shoes are ridiculously priced…).
the real reason i couldn’t live there is this: i don’t think i’m hip enough to live there. i like to think i’m pretty fashion forward with a unique sense of style, and most of the time i am (hey, i started rockin a mens watch yeeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrssss ago!). but my hair is definitely not hip enough to live in Wicker park. and i don’t own enough American Apparel. or have enough visible tattoos.
and, i don’t think i would love public transportation as much as i do if i lived there. it would cease to be a novelty. and i can’t let that be ruined…then i’d only be left with my irrational fear of wet wipes and that’s not cool.
but i do love you chicago. and i’ll see you again real soon. like late august. until then, keep on keepin on.